The making of a champion

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ANYONE FOR TENNIS?…. Kayla Forde, 5 and Phyllis Ireland are ready for a game on the newly resurfaced tennis courts. Photo Steve Hutcheson

Seven years ago, the Kyvalley tennis club hardly existed, now it has just won the Club of the Year award from Tennis Victoria.

Out in the middle of cow paddocks, alongside the railway line and the primary school, the tennis club has been a catalyst for social gatherings and a growing competitive interest in tennis in an area affected by drought and the increasing economic downturn of the dairy industry.

With a grant of $55,000 from the Victorian Government, they were able to resurface old bitumen courts with a new synthetic surface that has seen the club grow to over 300 members. Among the players are 35 Hotshot kids from as young as three years old.

The oldest player, Phylis Ireland  is 78 years of age and is still going strong.